94L still disorganized; Hurricane Gordon bearing down on the Azores

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:44 PM GMT on August 19, 2012

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A tropical wave (Invest 94L) located midway between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the coast of Africa is headed west at 20 - 25 mph. This storm is a threat to develop into a tropical storm that will affect the Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Wednesday. The storm is under light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, and is over waters of 27°C. A large area of dry air lies just to the north of 94L, as seen on the latest Saharan Air Layer (SAL) analysis and water vapor satellite loops. This dry air is interfering with development, and this morning's visible satellite loop shows that 94L's heavy thunderstorm activity is a bit sparse. The storm does have an impressive amount of spin at middle levels of the atmosphere, though. A pass from the Indian OceanSAT-2 satellite Saturday night at 10:06 pm EDT noted a broad, elongated center of nearly calm winds several hundred miles in diameter at the surface, and nothing resembling a well-organized closed surface circulation. 94L will pass near buoy 41041 on Monday morning. The first hurricane hunter mission into 94L is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Invest 94L.

Forecast for 94L
The latest 8 am EDT run of the SHIPS model predicts that wind shear will be low, 5 - 10 knots, and ocean temperatures will be near 27°C through Monday, then warm to 28°C by Tuesday night. As is typical with storms making the crossing from Africa to the Antilles, dry air to the north will likely interfere with development, and the SHIPS model predicts increased dry air as 94L approaches the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday. However, with shear expected to be low, dry air may be less of an issue for 94L than it was for Ernesto or TD 7. Our two best performing models--the GFS and ECMWF--have both been taking 94L through the Lesser Antilles with every run for the past 36 hours. Both models continue to agree on the timing, with 94L arriving Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The BAMM model, which performed as well as the ECMWF and GFS at 5-day forecasts in 2011, is showing a track just north of the Lesser Antilles. Given this agreement among our top three models for long-range forecasts, I give a 60% chance that 94L will pass through the Lesser Antilles. In their 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 94L a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Tuesday morning. The GFS model has backed off on its forecast that 94L will develop into a hurricane before reaching the islands, and is now predicting 94L will be a tropical storm with 40 - 50 mph winds at that time. The ECMWF model does not develop 94L. It is unlikely that 94L will be able to organize quickly enough to become anything stronger than a Category 1 hurricane before reaching the islands, given the storm's current struggles with dry air, and the lack of model support for intensification. With 94L staying relatively weak and disorganized, the chances of it turning to the northwest and missing the Lesser Antilles, as the NOGAPS model has been predicting, are diminishing. The GFS model predicts that 94L will go on to hit the Dominican Republic as a strong tropical storm on Friday, though the storm could also miss the island, passing just to the north or the south. At longer ranges, the storm is capable of going anywhere from Canada to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula; it's too early to tell.


Figure 2. The 00Z (8 pm EDT) run of the GFS model from August 18, 2012, was done 20 different times at low resolution using slightly different initial conditions to generate an ensemble of forecasts (pink lines.) The high-resolution operational GFS forecast is shown in white. The GFS ensemble forecast is showing decreasing risk to the U.S. East Coast at long ranges, and an increasing risk to the Gulf Coast.

Gordon bears down on the Azores
Hurricane warnings are flying for the central and eastern Azores Islands as Hurricane Gordon barrels eastwards at 21 mph. Gordon's peak 110 mph winds it had last night made it the strongest hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season so far. Latest visible satellite loops show that cold water and high wind shear are taking a toll on Gordon, with the southern portion of the storm deteriorating and the eye beginning to open up. However, Gordon will still be a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm when it passes through the Azores Monday morning. Winds at Ponta Delgada were 11 mph out of the east at 10 am EDT this morning, but will rise through the day as Gordon approaches.

Gordon is not a threat to any other land areas, and the extratropical remnants of Gordon will not bring any strong winds or significant rain to Europe. The last time the Azores were affected by a tropical storm was in 2009, when Tropical Storm Grace brought 65 mph winds on October 4. No significant damage was reported. Ironically, the last hurricane to affect the Azores was the 2006 version of Hurricane Gordon, which caused minor damage in the Azores, consisting of mostly fallen trees and power outages. However, after Gordon became an extratropical low, four injuries due to falling debris from high wind were reported in Spain, and Gordon brought high winds and rain that affected practice rounds at the Ryder Cup golf tournament in Ireland.


Figure 3. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Gordon taken on Saturday August 18, 2012, at 11:50 am EDT. At the time, Gordon was a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting indianrivguy:


But Levi, the models are spread that far apart.. what would you have the Doc say if not the truth.
We wanted him to say he knew something we didn't... and have that be the truth.... lol

Quoting Dakster:


I remember when Publix used to put them on their paper grocery bags.
City Market used to do that here too.

Quoting WoodyFL:


Just a little sarcastic there don't you think
More ironic than sarcastic, I'm thinking...

Quoting Dakster:


Yes, Bermuda (maybe) and Central/South America... You never know.
Definitely Bermuda and CA...

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2212. Gearsts
Quoting Levi32:
AL, 94, 2012082000, , BEST, 0, 151N, 406W, 25, 1010, DB, 34,

ATCF 0z says 94L gained latitude.
LOL
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2211. Gearsts
Just like that low infront of 94l is firing convection 94l should follow soon on colder convection.
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Quoting Stormchaser121:
As Dr. Masters has just stated the odds of a Yucatan landfall are increasing. Here we go!! Gulf Storm on the way??


Bay of Campeche?
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Quoting Levi32:
AL, 94, 2012082000, , BEST, 0, 151N, 406W, 25, 1010, DB, 34,

ATCF 0z says 94L gained latitude.


if that is the case, 94L does not deserved code red, satellite loops do not show a circulation at that location
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7687
Quoting Levi32:
AL, 94, 2012082000, , BEST, 0, 151N, 406W, 25, 1010, DB, 34,

ATCF 0z says 94L gained latitude.

And didn't strengthen.
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TAFB is up 5mbs since their last forecast.

If this wants to not bury itself into MX, it will have to be at least a moderate tropical storm before entering the islands.

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Quoting BahaHurican:
I seriously doubt you will need to cancel or will have bad wx. IF and that is a big IF - 94L heads our way, you should be back in port in the US by the time it approaches the area... Best place to check for news, of course, is your cruise line.

If you are going to be here on Friday / Saturday, enjoy the Goombay summer!


Dear BahaHurican - Thank you so very much for taking the time to respond to my question and you have certainly put my mind at ease! By the way...what is Goombay summer? LOL - Thanks again!
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having come back from work or sleep all weekend have found surprises when I've come back on...but shall say, goodbye to Gordon before I go to bed, you were really lovely, don't reckon there will be much of you left when I get up tomorrow though...and look forward to maybe something new and surprising when I get up again...

My daughter thinks I'm such a dork...ok, maybe a little guilty LOL

Goodnight all, ahve enjoyed reading all your comments
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2204. palmpt
Quoting Levi32:


I try to compliment the Doc and encourage him to share his thoughts with us more often and I get this? Lol.


Levi... Just ignore comments like that. You are giving an objective view. The last thing you want is the last word. You are are a pro. That guy does not know you... Obviously!
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2203. Levi32
AL, 94, 2012082000, , BEST, 0, 151N, 406W, 25, 1010, DB, 34,

ATCF 0z says 94L gained latitude.
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2196- So JMA says 10 minute sustained of 65 kts and JTWC has one minute sustained of 55 kts???

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2201. Gearsts
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

A storm moving 20-25 mph is going to have a hard time staying together.
If it organizes and intensifies, steering won't be as rapid as the zonal flow it's currently embedded in. The only time it'll have a problem in the eastern Caribbean if it's a weak cyclone, as Ernesto was, embedded in shallow steering.
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2198. Patrap
Im gonna go out a limb and say there is some, er, ACE maybe hanging across the Gulf.

But dont stone me..Im sitting
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
2197. bappit
Quoting msphar:
Oh Thank God! Go South you sucker!

LOL
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6022
2196. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Disturbance Summary
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 17
9:00 AM JST August 20 2012
====================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression In Sea Near Marianas Islands

At 0:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression (1004 hPa) located at 16.8N 141.9E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The cyclone is reported as almost stationary.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Forecast and Intensity
======================

24 HRS: 18.5N 140.6E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm) Marianas Islands

------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------- -------

Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #17
TYPHOON TEMBIN (T1214)
9:00 AM JST August 20 2012
====================================

SUBJECT: Category Three Typhoon In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Tembin (975 hPa) located at 18.0N 124.8E has 10 minute sustained winds of 65 knots with gusts of 95 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving north slowly.

Dvorak Intensity: T4.0

Storm Force Winds
================
45 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
=================
180 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
========================

24 HRS: 20.0N 125.2E - 70 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) South Of Okinawa
48 HRS: 22.0N 124.7E - 75 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) South Of Okinawa
72 HRS: 23.1N 122.0E - 80 knots (CAT 3/Strong Typhoon) South Of Okinawa
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2195. Dakster
Quoting bappit:

Hugo managed it heading to South Carolina. The eye was stretched out it was moving so fast.


I seem to remember Wilma doing that too - and going much faster.
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2194. Patrap
95L Rainbow Loop



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
Quoting sporteguy03:


I was just as curious as to why the Doc said the Yucatan other then a center reformation. Those can happen many times but just thinking of the big picture.

The GFS seems to be particularly sensitive to the southern llcs of everything off Africa this year. Maybe hard-coded with the overbearing Bermuda High expected throughout the season. Did an astounding job with Ernesto, and a good one with...... whatever 95l was before it was Helene and 7.. Oh! TD-7.
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18z HWRF:

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2191. msphar
Oh Thank God! Go South you sucker!
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GFS operational and GFS EnKF finally agree on a weak system.

Interesting to see that given the Kalman Filter is a hi-res version.

Oh well.

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2189. bappit
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

A storm moving 20-25 mph is going to have a hard time staying together.

Hugo managed it heading to South Carolina. The eye was stretched out it was moving so fast.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6022
Quoting Gearsts:
Meaning?


probably doesn't mean anything, just that they are usually updated by now
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7687
2187. Dakster
Quoting mitthbevnuruodo:


!!! Wow, the difference between a west coast upbringing and a tropical coast upbringing! Shame places still don't, might peak interest in younger ones to do something more than be enthralled with celebritites or games!


Now it is plastic bags or you bring your own. But yes, some of the 'old school' ways of doing things make you think and spur interests and creativity. Rather than looking at a computer screen and the computer doing it for you.

Being a technical person, it is great that we have computers though!

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2186. Patrap
They are slow ,but they may be awaiting a Honcho password or something.

Plus the Steelers are playing.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
Quoting JeffMasters:
Looks like the center of 94L might try to form towards the deep convection to the south; this will require a southwards adjustment to the forecast track. The odds of a Yucatan landfall are increasing.

Jeff Masters


at the very least it's been looking like it's sucking in that convection from the south...though, didn't think it would actually form it's COC further south because of it, food for thought I suppose..
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2184. Gearsts
Quoting Hurricanes101:
atcf for both 94L and 95L not updating right now
Meaning?
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Waterspout breakout reported over Lake Michigan
Posted on August 19, 2012
August 19, 2012 – SOUTH HAVEN, MI — The National Weather Service is now reporting nine waterspouts from two separate storms were witnessed on Lake Michigan. Waterspouts have been spotted over Lake Michigan today and forecasters say it’s possible more could spawn tonight and Sunday night. The National Weather Service said three of the tornado-like vortices were reported to them shortly before noon on Saturday, by people who were out on a fishing boat in Lake Michigan this morning. The spouts were spotted about 24 miles west of the South Haven lighthouse. The storms that caused them were small, 15-minute “pop-ups,” said William Moreno, a meteorologist in the NWS office in Grand Rapids. Conditions were right this morning for the waterspouts, Moreno said, with a land breeze converging over lake water warmed by the summer heat. The water in that part of the lake, the widest part of Lake Michigan, is about 72 degrees, he said. Winds in spout areas often reach 40 to 60 mph. Boaters or swimmers are advised to seek shelter when they are spotted. Waterspouts are relatively rare, but have been seen already this summer off Holland. Five were seen falling from sky simultaneously in the video below. –Mlive
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9814
2182. Patrap
Quoting sporteguy03:


I was just as curious as to why the Doc said the Yucatan other then a center reformation. Those can happen many times but just thinking of the big picture.


A general trend of the inner circulation moving more West by Sw or 260 to 265 true is not a center relocation.

Its Just the trend to be inputted next go round.




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
Quoting Dakster:


Yes, Bermuda (maybe) and Central/South America... You never know.

Missed me down here also. lol
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Not every storm that passes through the Caribbean has the same outcome as Ernesto or 07L. Any cyclone that enters the eastern Caribbean can fare just fine on the basis that it has a vigorous well-defined surface circulation that won't be disrupted by fast trade winds -- of which Ernesto nor 07L had when they entered the Caribbean.

A storm moving 20-25 mph is going to have a hard time staying together.
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atcf for both 94L and 95L not updating right now
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7687
Quoting Levi32:


I try to compliment the Doc and encourage him to share his thoughts with us more often and I get this? Lol.

The way you worded it made it sound like you were attacking Dr. Masters, Levi. We--or myself at least--knew that you didn't mean to.
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Quoting JLPR2:
Vort is a tad stronger at 00z and as we can see here its spin is now nicely defined, though on the large side, all it needs is a good D-max to push it to TD status.

What's really fascinating in this animation is watching Gordon in the deep blues of the upper basin...

Quoting Dakster:


Being in Miami... The cruise ships will pick a different spot to go to IF (and a big IF) the storm were to be in the way.

FWIW, cruise ships rarely have to cancel a cruise - and they know all about Hurricanes and Tropical Storms and how to avoid them. They have pretty sophisticated weather instruments on board.

Bottom lime, I wouldn't worry about it. Especially, because if the remote chance it were to be cancelled you are covered.
This is also a case where location matters. If the storm takes a Caribbean track, it won't matter over the length their cruise. If it comes our way, it seems likely they'd be back in Miami before Nassau shut down anyway.
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2176. Patrap
..pride usually goeth before a slip of the GFS tidbit maybe ?




; )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
Quoting Levi32:


Wasn't supposed to be.


I was just as curious as to why the Doc said the Yucatan other then a center reformation. Those can happen many times but just thinking of the big picture.
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Quoting Levi32:


No, no. That's the thing to say about a 7+ day forecast to the public sometimes, but I was just saying that it would be wonderful to get his long-range expert opinion in the personal blog comments from time to time as he just did. That was the first time I've ever seen that from him. It would be nice to see it more often.


Levi
I agree, I wish for more insight from the good Dr.
We all speculate when we post what the models say or how we interpret what they tell us.
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2173. bappit
Quoting JLPR2:
Vort is a tad stronger at 00z and as we can see here its spin is now nicely defined, though on the large side, all it needs is a good D-max to push it to TD status.


You can see a big gulp of dry air lining up to be pulled into the circulation on that TPW gif.
Member Since: May 18, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 6022
2172. Patrap
Quoting SLU:
Any word on 94L?


A few words up, a few words down, none in da middle seems though.



Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 424 Comments: 128279
2171. Levi32
Quoting bappit:

He just wants to have the last say.


I try to compliment the Doc and encourage him to share his thoughts with us more often and I get this? Lol.
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Quoting Dakster:


I remember when Publix used to put them on their paper grocery bags.


!!! Wow, the difference between a west coast upbringing and a tropical coast upbringing! Shame places still don't, might peak interest in younger ones to do something more than be enthralled with celebritites or games!
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2169. Dakster
Quoting weatherh98:
The cone of doom shall now go from nova scotia the bay of compeche. I should be right with this track

Did I miss anyone?


Yes, Bermuda (maybe) and Central/South America... You never know.
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2168. trey33
Quoting SOHOGator:


Tampa in time for last day of RNC?


Or maybe mid-week depending on how fast it tracks.

Just hang at MacDinton's and all will be fine - don't recommend Four Green Fields though. Too close to the action.
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why taking so long for ATCF
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2166. SLU
Any word on 94L?
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Quoting Levi32:


Wasn't supposed to be.


are you going to shift your track southerly tomorrow?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

They're moving at the same 15-20 knots pace that they were with Ernesto and TD 7...

Do we really need to go through this with every storm that passes through the Caribbean?
Not every storm that passes through the Caribbean has the same outcome as Ernesto or 07L. Any cyclone that enters the eastern Caribbean can fare just fine on the basis that it has a vigorous well-defined surface circulation that won't be disrupted by fast trade winds -- of which Ernesto nor 07L had when they entered the Caribbean.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Just look at the buoys...


20 mph
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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